Also known as Organic vs. All Natural Chicken.
I was writing a chapter in my book (yes I am writing a novel, isn’t everyone?) and the main character made a lovely roast chicken with citrus, rosemary, lavender, and cardamom. I thought that the combination sounded amazing so I asked my main character, Darcy, for her recipe.
While I was buying the chicken I decided to see what the difference was between organic and all natural in a side by side taste test.
The first thing I noticed was that the organic chicken had a plumper, fresher look and creamier color. Even the leg was creamy colored while the all natural chicken had a darker color to the leg meat.
I prepared and baked the chickens exactly the same way. I removed them from the oven at the same time and allowed them to stand for 15 minutes before carving.
Most of my family did not think there was much of a difference in flavor but the organic one was more tender with a buttery texture.
I thought there was a difference in flavor with the organic chicken being milder and more delicate but the texture was my biggest surprise. I just really felt that the meat was much better all around.
I try to buy organic and I will continue to do so. Although the family didn’t see much difference in flavor the truth is that I prefer my meat to be pesticide free.
This is a fabulous, flavorful dish and you won’t believe the way the house smells while it is roasting. Roasting a chicken is a simple way to create intense flavor. Just remember that the chicken should be held up out of the pan juices with a roasting rack. You can also slice carrots or onions and place it on top of those.
Roast at 425F for until the juices run clear, or to about 160 degrees. Allow to stand for 15 minutes before carving. It is best that you spoon the pan juices over the bird four or five times during the roasting process. This helps the skin get crispy, adds flavor, and keeps the meat moist.
Plan on starting about 2 hours before you want to serve this. Nice with wild rice, roast potatoes, or roasted root veggies.
Roast Chicken with Aromatics
- 1 5-6 lb organic free range whole chicken
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 orange
- 1 lemon
- 1 tbs culinary lavender
- 1/2 tbs cardamom
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Place rack in roasting pan.
- Mix the cardamom, lavender, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup butter and shape into a ball
- Clean chicken thoroughly inside and out and pat dry with paper towel.
- Cut the orange and lemon in half and place in the cavity of the chicken.
- Add the rosemary sprigs and the butter mixture.
- Melt the remaining butter and rub over skin of the chicken.
- Salt and pepper the skin.
- Place in the oven for about 1 1/2 hours or until done. Bast several times by spooning pan juices over the bird.
- Remove contents of cavity and discard.
- Allow to stand for 15 minutes before carving.